52 Ancestors: #16 Peter Bianchi: My Great Uncle or Is He?

Posted on April 19, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

Today, Ancestry.com released the death certificates for Pennsylvania from 1906 through 1924, so I spent several hours collecting records for my ancestors who died during this period. I received one shock—the death certificate of Peter Bianchi, my great-uncle.

52 Ancestors: #16 Peter Bianchi: My Great Uncle or Is He? Margaret Bianchi Brother Pete corr 739x1024

Peter Bianchi with his younger sister, Margaret. Photo courtesy of Bruce Wanzie, Jr.

Peter was the son of Bonaventura and Maria Bianchi, one of fourteen children. According to his WWI draft registration, he was born on 21 Jun 1882. His birthplace depends on the time period and is listed variously as Prussia, Austria or Germany.

He arrived in New York on 1 December 1888 with his parents, two brothers and a sister. The family first settled in Hazelton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania before relocating to Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania in the mid-1890s. He married Katie Gower on 25 February 1908 in St. Edward’s RC church in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Peter and Katie had the following children: Leona (b. 1909), Vincent (b. 1911, d. 1970) and Mildred (b. 1913, d. 2001).

According to Peter’s death certificate, he was born Sep. 1883 and died at the age of 39 on 5 January 1922 in Mount Carmel Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Okay, here is the shocking news: his parents are listed as Peter Bianchi and Julia Bianchi both born in Austria. This information was given by Chas. Bianchi. Peter is buried in St. Mary’s RC cemetery in Mount Carmel.

Peter had a younger brother named Charles, and Peter is a member of the only Bianchi family in Mount Carmel that I have been able to discover in the various census records. My conclusion is that Charles Bianchi would have known his own parents, therefore, Peter’s parents. So is Peter really my great-uncle? Is he the natural son of Bonaventura and Maria Bianchi? Who are Peter and Julia Bianchi? I have found no older Peter Bianchi or Julia Bianchi in the 1880, 1900, 1910 or 1920 US censuses living in Mount Carmel. Did Bonaventura and Maria elect to raise an orphaned child of a sibling in Europe? Are there any other explanations?

52 Ancestors: #16 Peter Bianchi: My Great Uncle or Is He? Peter Bianchi Death Cert 1922 PA 1024x951

Pennsylvania, “Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906 – 1924,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2013), entry for Peter Bianchi, 5 January 1922, certificate no. 7859.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 16 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.
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52 Ancestors: #15 Henry Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday)

Posted on April 15, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

52 Ancestors: #15 Henry Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday) StMarysCemetary 006 1024x768

Tombstone of Henry R. Bianchi and Elsie R. Shuda Bianchi in St. Mary’s cemetery, Mt. Carmel, PA. Photo by Eileen Souza

This week I would like to highlight my great uncle, Henry Bianchi. According to his WWII draft registration card, Henry was born on 7 March 1885 in Germany. His tombstone agrees. The 1900 US census lists his birth as Mar 1886 in Prussia and the passenger list of his arrival in the US on 1 December 1888 lists his age as 2. The remaining census records give a birth year of abt. 1887. Henry immigrated to the US with his parents, two brothers and a sister on the ship, Noordland. He was the son of Bonaventura Bianchi of Italy and Maria Bunt Bianchi of Bohemia.On 28 August 1914, he married Elsie R. Shuda, daughter of Peter Shuda and Johanna White, in Mount Carmel, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Elsie was born about 1887 in Pennsylvania. The only child I have found so far is their daughter Elsie, who may be an only child.

Henry died in 1955 and Elsie died in 1959. They are buried together in St. Mary’s cemetery in Mount Carmel, Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
 

Week 15 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

52 Ancestors: #15 Henry Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday) 52ancestors

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52 Ancestors: #14 Lucy Bianchi Bailoni (Tombstone Tuesday)

Posted on April 8, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

52 Ancestors: #14 Lucy Bianchi Bailoni (Tombstone Tuesday) ABailoniLBianchi Tombstone 1024x682

Tombstone of Aurelio Bailoni and Lucy Bianchi Bailoni in St. Pater’s cemetery, Mt. Carmel, PA

This week I would like to highlight my great aunt, Lucy Bianchi Bailoni. Lucy was born on 26 February 1896 in Atlas, Mount Carmel Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. She was baptized 14 March 1897 in Our Lady of Mount Carmel RC church. She was the daughter of Bonaventura Bianchi of Italy and Maria Bunt Bianchi of Bohemia.

On 21 August 1915, at the age of 18, she married Aurelio Lorenzo Bailoni in St. Peter’s RC church in Atlas, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Aurelio was born about 1889 in what was then Austria. Their children were: Caroline (abt. 1916), Violet (abt. 1917), Beatrice (abt. 1920), Christina (abt. 1924), and Harold Aurelio, Jr. (abt. 1928).

Lucy and Aurelio shared a duplex home with her sister, Anna, my grandmother, and Anna’s husband, Condy Furlani. (See my post 52 Ancestors: #13 Anna Bianchi Furlani). The only story I know about Lucy is that she and my grandmother never spoke to each other during the entire time that they lived there but, so far, I have been unable to determine the reason why since all who knew have passed away.

Lucy died 20 January 1978 and is buried next to her husband in St. Peter’s cemetery in Mount Carmel, Northumberland, Pennsylvania.

 

 

Week 14 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

52 Ancestors: #14 Lucy Bianchi Bailoni (Tombstone Tuesday) 52ancestors

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52 Ancestors: #13 Anna Bianchi Furlani

Posted on April 6, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

52 Ancestors: #13 Anna Bianchi Furlani test

Anna Bianchi Furlani ca. 1911

This week I would like to highlight my paternal grandmother, Anna Bianchi Furlani. Anna was born on 16 January 1894 in Atlas, Mount Carmel Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Bonaventura Bianchi, of Italy,  and Maria Bunt Bianchi, of Bohemia. She was baptized 11 February 1894 in Our Lady of Mount Carmel RC church in Mount Carmel.

On 20 September 1911, at the age of 17, she married Candido (Condy) Furlani in St. Peter’s RC church in Atlas, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Condy died in 1938 before my parents married so I never knew him, but I have many fond memories of my grandmother.

My sister and I spent many vacations at her home in Atlas. Right behind the house was the start of a small mountain (today it is not there, having been mined right down to the ground). We used to go up there first thing in the morning to pick huckleberries. We would then have them for breakfast with milk and sugar. Yum!

My family had moved to Delaware County, Pennsylvania when I was four, so she used to visit us once a year. Neither of our families had a car back then so travel was by train, and in those days it meant the old steam engines. When I was a little older, my grandmother taught me to play Pinochle, and during her visits we would spend many hours playing. Every year that I can remember, when they had the January white sales in Mount Carmel, she would send my mother a package containing sheets, towels, and whatever else that was a good buy that year. She loved to shop so on one of her visits, I took her to the EJ Korvette department store, which was over in New Jersey, but not that far from us by car. She had never been on an escalator before and you would have thought I had taken her to an amusement park.  We had to ride up and down until the novelty wore off.

She taught me to make her spaghetti sauce and to make gnocchi, a pasta made with potato starch (the water leftover after boiling potatoes). One of my greatest compliments as a young adult was when she told me that she thought I made the sauce better than she did. This is still one of the most popular dishes in my family.

In August 1962, I excitedly called her to tell her I was engaged to be married and she told me she was just married. She had been living on her own since my grandfather died, but at the age of 68, she decided to remarry. She married Walter Profit in August 1962—he was 79. My grandmother was full of surprises and never lost her sense of humor. I think I inherited that gene, thank goodness.

After several strokes, she passed away on 21 March 1973 at the age of 77. She is buried next to my grandfather, Condy, in St. Peter’s cemetery, Mount Carmel, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. I visit her grave every time I go up there on a research trip. She is still missed.

52 Ancestors: #13 Anna Bianchi Furlani house 1024x682

My grandmother’s home at 525 W. Girard St., Atlas, PA. Her sister, Lucy Bailoni, lived next door. Photo by Eileen Furlani Souza.

 

Week 13 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

52 Ancestors: #13 Anna Bianchi Furlani 52ancestors

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Society Saturday – CCGS April 21, 2014 Meeting

Posted on April 5, 2014 in Local Societies

Society Saturday – CCGS April 21, 2014 Meeting CCGSLogo The Carroll County Genealogical Society’s upcoming meeting on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM features Debra Hoffman, a noted genealogical speaker, who specializes in Maryland research and holds a Family History Certificate from Brigham Young University.

She will be speaking on Researching Your Civil War Soldier. During this sesquicentennial period for the Civil War, there is renewed interest in discovering more about our ancestors who participated in that event. Debra A. Hoffman will share her knowledge of the best resources for information and present two case studies – one for a Union soldier and one for a Confederate soldier.

Meetings of the Carroll County Genealogical Society (CCGS) are held the third Monday of each month, March through May and September through November, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Room, Westminster Library at 50 East Main Street, Westminster. The meetings are free and open to the public. An annual dinner is held each June and a holiday party each December. These are for members and their guests, with reservations made in advance.

Please come to our meeting and bring a friend. You will meet other folks interested in family research and genealogy and enjoy delightful talks that may help you in your own research. I look forward to seeing new faces!

You can also come early and take advantage of our large collection of books and other materials housed at the Westminster Branch of the CCPL. Of course, this collection is available to all anytime the library is open.

Society Saturday – CCGS April 21, 2014 Meeting CCGS Genealogy Section 5 24 2012  923x1024

CCGS Genealogical Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo copyright by Eileen Souza

 

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52 Ancestors: #12 Michel Meisberger

Posted on March 25, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History
52 Ancestors: #12 Michel Meisberger Winterbach Sankt Wendel Saarland Germany 640 x 428

View of the town of Winterbach, Sankt Wendel, Saarland, Germany, by Sebastian Decker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

This week I would like to highlight my 3rd great-grandfather, Michel Meisberger. According to his marriage certificate, Michel (Michael) was born 04 June 1812 in Winterbach, Sankt Wendel, Saarland, Germany. At that time, the area was in what was known as Rhenish Prussia, and later became Saarland. He married Margarethe (Margaret) Bettinger on 10 August 1837 in Sankt Wendel, Saarland, Germany. All of their children were born in Steinbach, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Germany (at the time of their birth Steinbach was in the Sankt Wendel district but today is a suburb of Ottweiler in the Neunkirchen district). According to their birth certificates, the children are: Theobald Casper, born 25 December 1837; Michael, born 24 February 1839; Johann, born 8 April 1841; Elizabeth, born 20 April 1843; Eva, born 11 June 1845; Helena [Magdalena], born 7 November 1847; and Barbara, born 3 January 1850. Theobald is my 2nd great-grandfather.

There is a passenger list record that shows that a Michel Meissberger, born about 1811, arrived in New York on 30 September 1853. The ship, the Rhine, left from La Havre, France. I did not find any other family members on this passenger list. Michel filed his Declaration of Intent to apply for naturalization on 6 August 1855 in Pottsville, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, with a final Petition of Naturalization being issued on 1 November 1858 in Sunbury, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. The naturalization dates support an 1853 or earlier arrival.

Michel appears in the 1860 US census enumerated as Michael Mischenger and in the 1870 US census enumerated as Michael Winberger. Neither Michael nor Margaret appear in the 1880 US census.

The date of death for Michael is possibly 10 April 1878, which came from the Winterbach family book owned by Roland Geiger, a professional genealogist living in Sankt Wendel, Germany. There is no actual source for this date at this time but it does appear to be consistent with the US census data.

Michael and Margaret are most likely buried in Saint Edwards Cemetery, Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, with the rest of the family. The plot is in Range 12 – Lots 23 & 24. There are two illegible tombstones here that are presumed to be theirs. There is no additional data to be found in the lot records, so their burial here cannot be proven.  Margaret (Bettinger) Meisberger’s death year is still unknown.

Week 12 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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52 Ancestors: #11 Theresa Bianchi Concini (Tombstone Tuesday)

Posted on March 18, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History
52 Ancestors: #11 Theresa Bianchi Concini (Tombstone Tuesday) Dominic Thersa Concini sm corr 1024x794

Tombstone of Dominick and Theresa Bianchi Concini, St. Peter’s Cemetery, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania

 

My great-aunt, Theresa Bianchi Concini, was born 1883/1884 in Luxemburg (Prussia) according to her marriage record. Other sources have her variously born in Prussia, Germany, and Italy. She was four years old when she came with her parents, Bonaventura and Maria Bunt Bianchi, to the United States. At that time, the family had been living in Dudelingen, which I believe was in Belgium. Their ship departed from Antwerp, Belgium on 1 December 1888.

Theresa was known as Christine Theresa, Theresa, or Cristy in the various records. As Theresa Bianchi, she married Dominick Concini on 18 November 1905 in Saint Peter’s RC Church in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Dominick and Theresa had nine children:

  • Joseph, b. 6 June 1906, d. 18 November 1994
  • Helen Margaret, b. 25 September 1909, d. 5 January 1973
  • Mary, b. 1911, d. 1961
  • Isabel I., b. 9 January 1914, d. 4 July 1999
  •  Ernest Lawrence, b. 20 August 1917, d. 6 December 1984
  • Raymond, b. abt. 1922, d. unknown
  • Gloria, b. abt. 1925, d. unknown
  • Martin F., b. October 1927, d. unknown
  • Jean, b. aft. 1910, d. bef. 1920

Theresa died in 1940.

 

 

Week 11 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

52 Ancestors: #11 Theresa Bianchi Concini (Tombstone Tuesday) 52ancestors

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52 Ancestors: #10 Leon Victor Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday)

Posted on March 11, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History
52 Ancestors: #10 Leon Victor Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday) Leon bianchi 025 25 corr 1024x683

Headstone of Leon Victor Bianchi and Helen Toczylowski, St. Peter’s Church cemetery, Mt. Carmel, Northumberland, PA

 

My great-uncle, Leon Victor Bianchi, was born Attilio Bianchi on 17 April 1891 in Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the son of Bonaventura and Mary Bianchi. I do not know when this family moved from Hazleton to Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania but they appear on the 1900 US census in this location. In this census, Attilio now appears and Leon and seems to have used Leon the rest of his life.

 

52 Ancestors: #10 Leon Victor Bianchi (Tombstone Tuesday) Leon bianchi 014 12A small

Footstone of Leon Victor Bianchi, St. Peter’s Church cemetery, Mt. Carmel, Northumberland, PA

 

He served in World War I and according to his son, he was very proud of his military service.  We can see this pride by his footstone which lists his rank and unit: Pvt. Bat. A 50th Fld. Art.

On 7 June 1935, he married Helen Toczylowski at Saint Peter’s Church in Mount Carmel. This was Helen’s second marriage.  She had three children from her prior marriage: Leonard, Edward and Laura.  Together Leon and Helen had three additional children: Victor J., Gerald, and Anthony.

Leon worked as a coal miner his entire life and died in 1949.

 

 

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52 Ancestors: #9 Killing Off Mary Catherine Strausser

Posted on March 3, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History
52 Ancestors: #9 Killing Off Mary Catherine Strausser R12 L22 Mary Meisberger on monument 9951 435x1024

Tombstone of Mary C. Strausser

My starting hypothesis is that Mary Catherine Strausser, wife of my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Meisberger, is the child of Peter Strausser and Sarah Strausser. I am still in the process of proving this one but here is my circumstantial evidence. My greatest persuader is the fact that Theobald sold Sarah Strausser a family property, something I don’t think he would have done to someone totally unrelated.

In the 1850 US census, Peter Strausser, age 32, Sarah Strausser, age 32, Mary Catherine Strausser, age 7, and Angeline Strausser, age 5, all live in the same residence in Norwegian Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania tax records show that Peter Strausser was on the tax rolls for Norwegian Township, Schuylkill County for the years 1847 thru 1855.

On the 15th of April, 1860, Theobald Meisberger and a Mary Catherine Strausser were married in Saint Edward’s RC Church in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

In the 1860 census, Peter Strausser, age 41, Sarah Strausser, age 42, Angeline Strausser, age 15, Peter Adam Strausser, age 7, Sarah Matilda Strausser, age 5, John Henry Strausser, age 3, and David Strausser, age 5 months, all live in the same residence in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

In the 1860 census, Peter and Sarah Strausser live next door to Theobald Meisberger, age 22, and Mary Catherine Meisberger, age 17. Theobald and Mary are both listed as having been married within the year as of 15 July 1860.

In the 1870 US census, Peter Strausser, age 52, Sarah Strausser, age 52, Peter, age 16, Matilda, age 15, John, age 13, and David, age 10, all live in the same residence in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, which is still next door to Theobald Meisberger, age 30, and Mary Meisberger, age 27.

In the 1880 US census, Peter Strausser, age 61, Sarah Strausser, age 61, his wife, Peter A. Strausser, age 28, his son, and David Strausser, age 20, his son, all live in the same residence in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, which is where Theobald Meisberger, age 42, head, and Mary, age 38, his wife, also reside.

In 1881, Theobald Meisberger sold one of his lots with house to Sarah Strausser.

In 1890, Theobald Meisberger buys back same lot from Sarah and Peter Meisberger.

In Dec 1890, Peter Strausser dies.

In May 1891, Sarah Strausser dies.

Last year, I came across a technique recommended for a reasonably exhaustive search known as “killing off” the subject of the search. Through various church records, deeds, censuses and deduction, I thought I had “proved” that my ancestress, Mary Catherine Strausser was the daughter of Peter and Sarah Strausser.  I spent much time and money trying to trace Peter’s and Sarah’s parents and other ancestors.  I was thinking about using this family for a minor lineage submission. Examining all my “evidence” closely, it occurred to me that I did not “prove” Mary Catherine was their daughter because I had not completed an exhaustive search by killing her off.

I had her marriage record which did not list parents and I had her tombstone photo and cemetery record, both of which did not show parents.  I had not pursued her death record (she died in 1897 and PA started recording deaths in 1893), obituary or possible church burial record. If one of these would prove she was not their daughter, I would have wasted a lot of time and money on the wrong family.

There was no death record filed with the county for Mary Catherine Meisberger nor was there any obituary found.  In addition, no obituaries were found for Peter Strausser, Sarah Strausser or Theobald Meisberger.

While I did not obtain any new supporting evidence to make my case for Mary Catherine Strausser, I will remember to use this technique in all my future research.

 

 

Week 9 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

52 Ancestors: #9 Killing Off Mary Catherine Strausser 52ancestors

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52 Ancestors: #8 Who Is Victor Bianchi?

Posted on February 23, 2014 in 52Ancestors, Family History

We read many stories today about grandchildren being raised by their grandparents, primarily due to teen pregnancy and drug abuse. Just so, a hundred years ago, many children were raised by their grandparents due to teen pregnancy and death during childbirth.

In the 1910 Us Federal census, Victor Bianchi is enumerated as the 1 ½ year old son of Mary Bianchi, 44, widow of Bonaventura Bianchi who died 25 Dec 1906. So, who is Victor Bianchi? Is he the out-of-wedlock son of the widow, Mary Bianchi or is he the son of one of her children?

What Was Found in the Census Records

Searches of the US census records for 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 reveal information on the Bianchi family. The following lists the surname, first name, relationship, approximate age, marital status, number of children and number of children living for all members of the household for each census. The last two entries are specified only for the woman who bore the children.

1900 United States Federal Census U.S. census, population schedule:

  •             Vantura, Bianapi, Head, 44, M      [Bonaventura Bianchi]
  •                         Mary, Wife, 34, M, children 11, 9 living
  •                         Peter, Son, 17, S
  •                         Teresa, Daughter, 16, S
  •                         Henry, Son, 14, S
  •                         Josephine, Daughter, 11, S
  •                         Leon, Son, 10, S
  •                         Mary, Daughter, 7, S
  •                         Annie, Daughter, 6, S
  •                         Lucy, Daughter, 3, S
  •                         Charles, Son, 1, S

 1910 United States Federal Census U.S. census, population schedule:

  •             Bianchi, Mary Mrs., Head, 44, W, children 14, 11 living
  •                         Henry, Son, 23, S
  •                         Leo, Son, 19, S
  •                         Mary, Daughter, 17, S
  •                         Annie, Daughter, 16, S
  •                         Lucia, Daughter, 13, S
  •                         Charles, Son, 11, S
  •                         Ella, Daughter, 9, S
  •                         Margaret, Daughter, 7, S
  •                         Victor, Son, 1 6/12, S
  •             Schicchitano, Fred, Boarder, 24, S

 1920 United States Federal Census U.S. census, population schedule:

  •             Bianchi, Mary, Head, 53, M
  •                         Leo, Son, 27, S
  •                         Charles, Son, 21, S
  •                         Helen, Daughter, 19, S
  •                         Margaret, Daughter, 17, S
  •                         Victor, Son, 11, S

 1930 United States Federal Census U.S. census, population schedule:

  •             Bianchi, Mary, head, 64, Wd
  •                         Charles, son, 30, S
  •                         Victor, grandson, 21, S
  •                         Agnes, granddaughter, 7, S

 Who Are the Candidates for Victor’s Parent?

According to the Social Security Death Index and his obituary, Victor F. Bianchi was born on 19 Oct 1908 and died 12 Dec 2006.

The logical candidates at the time of his birth appear to be:

  • Mrs. Mary Bianchi
  • Peter Bianchi
  • Theresa Bianchi
  • Henry Bianchi
  • Josephine Bianchi
  • Leo Bianchi
  • Mary Bianchi
  • Annie Bianchi

 While less likely than the other candidates, it is possible that Mrs. Mary Bianchi bore a child when she was almost 43 years of age.

Peter Bianchi married Katie Gower on 25 Feb, 1908 in Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. He does not appear to be a valid candidate. If he was Victor’s father and Katie was Victors’ mother, they most likely would have raised Victor themselves since they were married when Victor was born. Or, he would be marrying one woman while anther is still carrying his child. Either of these scenarios makes it less likely that Peter is the father of Victor.

Theresa Bianchi married Dominick J. Concini on 18 Nov 1905 in Mount Carmel, Northumberland, Pennsylvania. She was not living at home when Victor was born and she had been married for three years, so it appears that she is very poor candidate for Victor’s mother.

Henry Bianchi is living at home and is listed as single in the 1910 census so he is a feasible candidate as the father of Victor. Years later, he and Elsie Shuda apply for a marriage license on 27 August 1914. The marriage was never recorded and Henry still lives at home in the 1920 US.

Violet Josephine Bianchi married Mario Bridi on 27 Jun 1907 so it does not appear that she is a possible candidate.

Leo Bianchi does not marry until 1935 and is living at home and single in 1910, so he is a viable candidate.

Mary Bianchi is a potential mother of Victor as she does not marry until 1914, when she marries John Pieri. She is living at home, single, and about 16 years of age when Victor is born.

While Annie could be a candidate, at 14, she is a little young so, she, like her mother is less likely to be the mother of Victor.

The most likely candidates appear to be Henry, Leo and Mary.

Identifying Victor’s Parent

Relationships stated in records cannot always be taken at face value. Two census documents list Victor as the son of Mrs. Mary Bianchi, widow of Bonaventura (aka Victor) Bianchi, while a third lists him as a grandson. Which is correct?  The 1930 US census record is correct. Victor has been identified as the son of Mary Bianchi, daughter of Bonaventura and Mary Bianchi.

A search of the archives of “The News Item,” a Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania newspaper revealed several articles that finally solve this mystery.

  • The first, dated 03/28/2003, reports the death of Edith Ida H. Adams, daughter of the late John and Mary (Bianchi) Pieri, listing three surviving brothers, one of whom was Victor Bianchi.
  • The second article, dated 05/03/2006, reports the death of John L. Pieri, son of the late John and Mary (Bianchi) Pieri, listing two surviving brothers, one of whom is Victor Bianchi.
  • The last article, dated 12/13/2006, reports the death of Victor Bianchi at the age of 98. A copy of this article says it all:

KULPMONT — Victor F. Bianchi, formerly of 26 Second St., Strong, passed peacefully at the age of 98 on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Serenity Gardens, where he was a guest the past four years. He was born in Atlas on Oct. 19, 1908, and was a son of the late Mary Bianchi. He was a lifelong resident of Strong and was employed as a miner and steel worker. He was married July 4, 1932, in St. Patrick’s Church in Philadelphia to the former Mary E. Pollock, who preceded him in death on March 22, 2005. He was a member of Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel, and formerly a member of St. Paul’s Chapel in Atlas.

   One of the survivors listed in this obituary was “a brother, Louis Pieri of Coatesville.” I have omitted the remaining survivors since some may be still living.

We can only speculate as to why Victor remained with his grandmother once his mother, Mary, married. He was still very young when his mother married and the family may have decided to wait until her was older to tell him.  It is apparent from several sources that as an adult, at least, he was well aware of his relationship to his mother and his half-siblings. According to Family Tree Maker 2014, Victor F. Bianchi is my 1st cousin 1x removed.  

Another family mystery solved.

Week 8 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.
52 Ancestors: #8 Who Is Victor Bianchi? 52ancestors

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